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The Search for Middle Class Stability in a Changing World
7 June 2019

Over the past decades, middle income populations in developed economies have seen their income stagnate while the costs of many traditional services — such as education, housing, child care, and healthcare — have been and are continuing to grow well beyond inflation rates. This has been coupled with job insecurity triggered by the advent of Industry 4.0, AI and robotics, and its potential to eliminate jobs traditionally held by middle class workers (accounting, banking, insurance, general managers, logistics etc. where up to 75 million jobs are estimated to be lost by 2022 alone). Can this lead to the potential spread of the ‘middle class squeeze’ to major emerging economies, which are currently driving global middle-class growth? While the resulting economic insecurity has already destabilized the body politic of many major developed economies, what are the risks of this trend extending to the emerging markets? What are some of the fundamental steps that can be taken to alleviate middle class angst, and why have traditional political leaders struggled to adequately respond to these long-term trends?

Started at
Conference hall
Congress Centre, conference hall D1
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